Austin Resource Recovery
MoveOutATX 2022 Marketing Campaign
Category: Excellence In Corporate Social Responsibility | Ethical And Environmental Responsibility | 7.2 Green Initiatives
Austin Resource Recovery (ARR) launched the MoveOutATX 2022 campaign to encourage college students to donate unwanted, gently used items instead of throwing them away. Each July, during off-campus move-out around the University of Texas at Austin (UT), curbs and dumpsters overflow with things students no longer want. Many items in good condition go to the landfill unnecessarily. This disposal pattern causes health and safety concerns and headaches for students, parents, residents, property owners and the City. This marketing campaign aimed to increase material brought to MoveOutATX donation stations, including through the first Free Furniture Market (FFM), and to provide economic development opportunities for local reuse organizations.
MoveOutATX 2022 had two distinct audiences: the 18,000 UT students living in West Campus who were encouraged to donate items, and the wider Austin community who would benefit from taking home items from the FFM. This second audience included English, Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese speakers.
ARR partnered with two UT offices to develop and promote the two-part campaign, spending $3,669 in total. ARR promoted the FFM and donation stations through a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA), social media kit, and poster and flyer distribution. Donation stations appealed to college students through memes, a UT TikTok influencer partner, property manager meetings, sidewalk chalk ads, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ads, and a street banner on a major corridor. For the FFM, $600 went towards ads in a Spanish print publication. Despite limited FFM promotion, efforts went viral; hundreds of people lined up on day one in anticipation of the event.
MoveOutATX and the inaugural FFM exceeded expectations for donations and number of attendees. 1,200 people donated items at the six donation stations over four days, and over 1,300 visitors attended the FFM. The program rehomed 539 pieces of furniture with community members, and an additional 150 pieces were processed by a participating organization for resale. The donated material accounted for nearly $67,000 in economic value, and the MoveOutATX.org website saw a total of 21,049 unique visits during the campaign – a 350% increase in website traffic over the previous year.
This multifaceted campaign was planned and implemented by a team of six ARR staff members that included a public information specialist, a digital marketing representative, a graphic designer, two interns and a program manager. These individuals implemented an expansive campaign that targeted not only UT students living off campus but also all Austin residents. Our campaign inspired a viral post on Reddit, motivated 2,500+ people to attend either a donation station or the FFM over the four-day event, and diverted more than 30 tons of material from the landfill, including 689 pieces of furniture.
Through grassroots efforts on a shoestring budget, the City of Austin successfully:
-Diverted 30.76 tons of material from landfills, including rehoming over 600 pieces of furniture in 4 days
-Welcomed more than 1,300 visitors in the first year of the Free Furniture Market
-Tallied 1,200 donation drop-offs
John Bruckelmeyer – Graphic Designer, Public Information and Marketing
Keri Greenwalt – Marketing Supervisor, Public Information and Marketing
Matthew Hart – Public Information Specialist, Public Information and Marketing
Devia Joshi – Intern, Circular Economy Program
Rosario Lopez-Cadenas – Marketing and Communications Intern, Public Information and Marketing
Madelyn Morgan – Program Manager, Circular Economy Program